Jim Stangeland, Former LBCC Football Head Coach, Passes Away at the Age of 92

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Jim Stangeland, one of Long Beach City College’s all-time greatest coaches as well as one of the best to come out of the city of Long Beach, passed away on Saturday (Oct. 25) in Huntington Beach at the age of 92. Stangeland is a member of the LBCC Hall of Champions, Long Beach State Hall of Fame, Long Beach Century Club Hall of Fame, and the California Community College Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Stangeland led the LBCC Football program to national championships in 1960, 1962, and 1964. His 1960 squad went 10-0, his 1962 team was unbeaten at 9-0-1, while his 1964 Vikings went 10-0 as well. Over eight seasons (1957-64), he compiled a 59-12-3 overall record and guided the Vikings to five bowl games.

Long-time LBCC coach Paul Chafe served as an assistant coach to Stangeland before taking over as head coach of the Viking football team in in 1966. He was also a family friend, growing up with Stangeland in Huntington Beach during their early teen years. Chafe had nothing but praise when asked about Stangeland.

“Jim had a vision that a lot of coaches back then didn’t have,” said Chafe. “He was part of an innovated bunch of young coaches from Arizona that used film. Jim was a disciplinarian and got great respect from the kids. They didn’t want to disappoint him. I was very fortunate to work with him.”

Stangeland also coached numerous athletes to individual state championships as an assistant coach for the LBCC Track and Field team.

Following his national championship season in 1964, Stangeland left LBCC to become an assistant under USC head coach John McKay for four seasons (1965-68). During that span, the Trojans went 33-8-2, played in three Rose Bowls, won three conference titles and produced two Heisman Trophy winners. Troy’s 1967 national championship squad went 10-1 and defeated Indiana in the Rose Bowl.

From USC, Stangeland returned to Long Beach to become the third head coach in the history of the Long Beach State Football program. He led Long Beach State to an 8-3 record in his first season in 1969 before guiding the 49ers to its first and only bowl game in the history of the program, the 1970 Pasadena Bowl.

Over five seasons (1969-73), Stangeland posted a 31-24-2 record with Long Beach State and led the 49ers to a pair of Pacific Coast Athletic Association championships.

Stangeland is preceded in death by his wife, Betty, and daughter Julie. He is survived by daughters Peggy and Marianne as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A celebration of life to be held at LBCC is in the planning stages.

Stangeland’s 1964 national championship squad was already scheduled to be honored at this Saturday’s (Nov. 1) LBCC vs. Riverside City College football game. The event will now be held in his honor. Kickoff is 6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

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